Bus Crash victims remembered through tears and laughter - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Bus Crash victims remembered through tears and laughter

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Family, friends and even strangers packed the auditorium at Statesville High School Wednesday night to remember the six members of Front Street Baptist Church killed in a horrific bus crash in Tennessee last week.

As the service got underway, one common theme emerged as friends and family shared their memories: the victim's love for the Lord and how committed they were to living a Christian life.

Don Lourcy, said this about his friend Brenda Smith: "Brenda would not want me to speak about her without speaking of lord and savior Jesus Christ.

Gail Gaines, friend of Marsh McClelland recalled this conversation about about the Sunday school teacher.

"She said to me, she said I don't want to die literally and people not know the God that I serve," she said.  

But there were also moments of laughter. Rebecca Johnson, who lost both of her parents in the crash, fondly recalled her mother Barbara's gift of gab.

"But she most of all loved to talk about Jesus," he said. "And I wrote on my Facebook wall that even if you were a stranger in the bathroom, by the time you left, whether you wanted to or not, you're were going to hear about Jesus."

Larry Matheny, shared this about his dad, Cloyce who was 95 -- and went skydiving at the age of 93.  

"I would call him and say, 'what are you doing' and he was out mowing some 65 year old's lawn," he remembered.

He also said his dad was still proud to have a driver's license but added he and his brother would flip a coin to see who would have to ride with him!

"If [Statesville Police] Chief Anderson or one of his officers saw this old Buick weaving down the road, they would probably stop and ask the driver, 'sir have you been drinking'?," he said. "And my dad would say, 'no I'm just 95'."

Matheny also shared his father's philosophies on life, the final one being most important.

"The last thing was live until you die," he said.

Although the members of Front Street Baptist Church were clearly the focus of the service, they also remembered the two other victims killed in the crash. The truck driver and a passenger in the SUV.


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